“Thanks to the efforts of the international community and many Holocaust survivors, the world is a much different place than it was seventy years ago when the scourge of Nazism sought to wipe peoples from the earth. For survivors and their families, the crimes and horrors Holocaust is not simply part of history, it is a set of deeply personal experiences that require an immense amount of strength to overcome on a daily basis.
“The United States and our allies have made great strides in changing the world in the decades following the Second World War. We must continue to lead the effort to ensure that the words ‘Never Again’ are not simply a slogan but rather a guiding principle. I was pleased that the White House took a strong step in that direction by nominating Dr. Ethel Brooks to serve as a member of the United Stated Holocaust Memorial Council. The Holocaust Memorial Museum is our country’s pre-eminent federal body entrusted with preserving the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and advancing knowledge, teaching and research related all aspects of the Holocaust. I am confident that Dr. Brooks will contribute greatly to those goals.
“Unfortunately, the virulent anti-Semitism and hatred that fueled the murder of millions of innocents is still present as the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of holocaust survivors come of age. Just this past year, international efforts derailed plans to build a statue honoring a Nazi collaborator who designed the country’s anti-Jewish laws and thereby sent hundreds of thousands to Auschwitz. In our own country, I have been deeply disturbed by the prevalence of hate crimes against religious minorities and suggestions to bar refugees, no less deserving of compassion and aid as those on the on the MS St. Louis, from entering the United States. We must remain committed to countering these affronts to Holocaust survivors and the basic pillars of human dignity.
“On this International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we must not only remember the strength of those who perished and survived one of the darkest times in human history, but also work towards a future that they would be proud of.”